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Scarenthood 2 Main

"Scarenthood #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by IDW Publishing

article-cover

Written and illustrated by Nick Roche
Colored by Chris O'Halloran
Lettered by Shawn Lee
2020, 36 Pages, $4.99
Comic released on December 9th, 2020

Review:

Cormac is barely holding it together. It's hard enough being a single father, juggling care for his daughter with the stress of work, not to mention his estranged wife (although we don't yet know what happened to her or where she is). Throw a supernatural mystery stemming from his kid's day care and things are pretty complicated. Needless to say, he's on edge and things aren't getting any easier.

Scarenthood #2 digs deeper into this strange location. Writer / artist Nick Roche drops details in about the background of the building and Cormac's life in organic ways. It never feels like we're sitting down for a history lesson. Instead, everything comes through as normal conversations as this collection of adults, thrown together only because their kids go to the same day care, try to figure this out.

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The awkwardness of these connections is spot on. I can't tell you how many times I've stood next to complete strangers at some day care event, struggling to make small talk to fill the unending void of silence until I can pick up my kid and leave. In this case, the bonds get a bit stronger as they start to experience some strange things in the surrounding area.

There's an unrelenting feeling of tension that just keeps building through every page of Scarenthood. We know that something is not quite right here and the rational side of our minds is trying to make sense of it. This makes normal scenes, like a nice walk through the park, take on an ominous tone. This is a harrowing experience and it starts with Cormac pushing his daughter in a stroller, however there are all these little moments that make it terrifying. Mud cakes around the stroller wheels, making it tough to move (and later run). Branches seem to claw through the sky in an imposing fashion to hold the family in. The wind picks up, sending leaves shooting through the air like daggers.

Colorist Chris O'Halloran creates a foreboding tone for this scene in particular. This is no longer a bright, sunny day. It suddenly becomes a chilling race of life and death. It's like things get serious, moving from the bubbly atmosphere of the day care to the harsh reality nearby.

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Roche paces Scarenthood #2 incredibly well. These sequences of terror are immediately followed by something ordinary, but you're never totally at ease. Letterer Shawn Lee helps these bursts of terror with some eye-popping dialogue work. There's a great sequence at the end of the issue where the sound of a phone call has never been scarier. The little boops and beeps of the ring tone strike fear into the heart of Cormac and raise our eyebrows as readers, wondering what it means.

Scarenthood hits the ground running with a solid opener and this sophomore issue doesn’t miss a beat. It perfectly blends the real life horrors of parenthood with a supernatural element that will send a shiver down your spine. The scares are heightened because it's not just Cormac in danger, but his young daughter as well. This is most definitely a horror comic to watch.

Grades:

Story: fivestars Cover
Buy from Amazon US.
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Buy from Amazon UK.
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Art: fivestars
Overall: 5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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